Global PC shipments dropped as much as 29% in Q1 2023, compared to the same quarter in 2022. The drop represents at least a temporary return to pre-COVID patterns with Apple taking the biggest hit, according to a report by market research firm IDC.
PCs shipped this year came down to 56.9 million units, compared to 80.2 million in the same period last year, the report said.
Amongst PC makers, Apple was hit hardest as its Q1 results saw the biggest decline -- a drop of 40.5% compared to the same period in 2022. Dell Technologies came in second with a drop of 31%.
Lenovo and Asus also faced a decline in shipments with both companies recording a decline of 30.3%.
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“Though channel inventory has depleted in the last few months, it’s still well above the healthy four-to-six-week range. Even with heavy discounting, channels, and PC makers can expect elevated inventory to persist into the middle of the year and potentially into the third quarter,” ,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers.
And while the pause in growth and demand is giving the supply chain room to make changes as many factories begin to explore production options outside China.
Meanwhile, PC makers are also realigning their plans for the remainder of the year and have begun to pull in orders for Chromebooks due to an expected increase in licensing costs later this year, the report said.
If the economy is trending upward by 2024, there is expected significant market upside as consumers look to refresh, schools seek to replace worn-down Chromebooks, and businesses move to Windows 11. If recession in key markets drags on into next year, recovery could be a slog, said Linn Huang, research vice president, Devices and Displays at IDC.